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Jack McCollum

December 27th, 2021

Seat belts save lives in car crashes. But, if you have never looked at a seatbelt and thought “that could also be a life-threatening hazard”, think again.  Please consider getting a seat belt cutting tool to keep in your car (link at the end).

We almost lost our fun, bright, energetic 6-year-old son Jack to a seatbelt entanglement injury on December 27th, 2021.  On a 15-minute drive from the beach to Grandma’s house, he was fidgeting with his seatbelt behind his booster seat.  He pulled the seatbelt all the way out; this activates the locking mechanism intended to keep car seats more secure, it makes it so that the seatbelt can be pulled in but not out.  He wrapped it twice around his neck “because he just got bored.” Wiggling to try to free himself, the seatbelt only tightened and cinched him up towards the ceiling with each move.   We found him turning purple and losing responsiveness.  We are very, very fortunate that we found him in time and our 8-year-old daughter ran up the hill to her grandparents’ house and came down with a pair of scissors in time for us to cut him out.  One ER visit and a CT angiogram of his neck later, he is safe and recovered from extensive bruising. Not all families are lucky enough to have these stories end well.

These types of injuries are rare.  But they can happen in a second.  Seat belt cutter tools often include window-breaking tools as well which protect against rare window roll-up injuries and water immersions.  You can buy them here.

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